Earth Day

Earth Day – 4 Key Elements of a Cause Marketing Campaign

Cause marketing refers to the alignment of a brand with a cause that produces profitable and societal benefits for both. Today, consumers want to know what your company stands for and what you’re doing to make the world a better place. As a result, for many brands, cause marketing is now becoming the norm rather than the exception. You may be surprised to learn that cause marketing was first introduced in 1976. The two trail blazers involved were the Marriott Corporation and the March of Dimes. They worked together to promote the Marriott’s family entertainment complex in Santa Clara, California while raising funds for the March of Dimes. The campaign was a success for both parties and cause marketing was born.

In celebration of Earth Day this April 22nd, I’d like to encourage you to consider launching cause marketing campaign this year, and I’ve outlined the four key elements of one for you to consider:

  1. Simple, inspiring message: What you call your campaign matters. It should be simple, descriptive of your initiative and inspire you to want to participate. Motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson teamed up with the environmental organization The Nature Conservancy with its cause marketing campaign “Renew the Ride”. This campaign was designed to mobilize Harley Davidson’s global community of riders to raise funds for the planting of 50 million trees worldwide by 2025 so that the open road can be preserved for future generations of riders.
  1. Visual storytelling: Studies show that people read only about 20% of today’s web pages and are driven more by an image or short video than they are by anything else. Coke and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) teamed up to support the conservation of polar bears with their Arctic Home campaign. Who among you hasn’t been moved by the wonderful video spots that Coke and the WWF have created about polar bears? Those videos move us more than any written story could.
  1. Social sharing, ‘earnedmedia: The most effective cause marketing campaigns develop multiple media designed to maximize the effectiveness of each channel. Dell is doing a great job inspiring people to care more about the health of our oceans and marine wildlife through its support of actor Adrian Grenier’s the Lonely Whale Foundation. The campaign has gained great momentum thanks to Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms. And, Coke and the WWF used the web, apps, social media, text messaging and other technology to drive brand awareness for the Arctic Home campaign.
  1. Big world issues, small personal action: While most cause marketing campaigns are calling people’s attention to a big issue, they need to inspire them to take a small personal action. Habitat for Humanity is working towards a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. They teamed up with Home Depot. As part of an employee engagement campaign, Home Depot employees can volunteer to work on a Habitat for Humanity project while being paid by Home Depot. This small personal action of volunteering makes a big difference in improving big world issues.

I believe cause marketing has many benefits for your business including positioning your brand to stand out from the rest while at the same time helping a cause and ‘doing the right thing’.

Is cause marketing important to a brand? 87% of consumers would switch from one brand to another if the other brand was associated with a good cause, according to a Cone Cause Evolution Survey. Is a cause marketing campaign right for your company and your brand? It’s certainly worth considering.

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A “Green Apple” takes a stab at Samsung on Earth Day

April 22nd is Earth Day, marking the day recognized around the world where events are held in support of environmental protection and promoting awareness for green initiatives.

Apple Inc. is often commended for its focus on green initiatives and manufacturing practices, this year making a big PR push on Earth Day to highlight its efforts to help with gadget recycling, to use renewable energy, and generally create an impression that it is the leading eco-friendly tech company*.

We’re wondering if green is also the colour of revenge today, as Apple launches a full-page newspaper ad “inviting” competitors to adopt their sustainability strategy like they copy Apple’s hardware and software designs.

apple_earth_day_ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There are some ideas we want every company to copy.”

While many companies are considered guilty of infringing on features of Apple devices, this ad is most likely targeted towards Samsung as the month-long patent trial continues between the two companies.

With the focus on sustainable practices and making the world a greener place, is Earth Day the right time to release a smear ad on a competitor? Shouldn’t the focus remain on the goal of heightening awareness about the environment?

What do you think about Apple’s ad? Timely and appropriate for the day? Or generating  unwarranted attention? I look forward to your thoughts below.

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2014/04/22/apple-earth-day-trolling/